SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The General Merchandise Distributors Council, Colorado Springs, Colo., rolled the dice and it paid off big time. Last fall, GMDC decided on a unique strategy to boost attendance and involvement in its marketing conferences: The trade association would pay the travel and lodging expenses for the retailer and wholesaler attendees. Last week, at the group's GM Marketing Conference here, there were 56% more retail and wholesale executives in attendance than last year, up ...

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